Much has been said about the difference between management and leadership. Executives have to be great at both! In today’s One-Minute Coaching™, we will look at a key management topic and explore how you can sharpen your people management skills. 

All in the next 60 seconds. Ready? Go!

SOLID One-Minute Coaching™

William Oncken wrote a bestselling Harvard Business Review article, “Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?” He depicted the leader taking on excessive problem-solving for his managers as someone who has a monkey on his back. Oncken showed how to improve time management through better delegation by “giving back the monkey.” 

What Oncken missed was how to get people to come up with their own insights and solve their own problems. In a commentary about the article, leadership expert Stephen Covey wrote:

“…much has changed since Oncken’s radical recommendation. Command and control as a management philosophy is all but dead, and ‘empowerment’ is the word of the day in most organizations trying to thrive in global, intensely competitive markets. But command and control stubbornly remains a common practice.”

Empowering subordinates requires a willingness and ability to trust others. Executive coach Marc Ottestad says this: “You have to be willing to give up control and let people work through their own thinking. Empowerment means you must develop people—a strategy whose success depends on dialogue and trust.”

Developing Trust in Your Direct Reports

A great way to build trust in your direct reports is through coaching conversations that enable and empower people to do their own thinking. This is also a great use of your time, allowing you to act as a guide rather than the all-knowing expert. 

A coaching conversation is one where you use the Socratic method to ask provocative questions that will lead your direct report to solving their own problems. Not only that, but done with enough regularity, you will condition your directs to ask questions of themselves before they come to you looking for the answers, thus saving even more time and developing them to solve their own problems.

Wear the coaching hat of Socratic teacher, and serve your direct reports by guiding them to solve their own problems.

Coaching Questions

Are you the kind of leader who takes the monkey from direct reports?

What are you doing to put the chimp back on others’ shoulders?

How often do you use coaching questions (the Socratic method) to help your direct reports solve their own problems?

Would you like to learn more about how to have catalytic coaching conversations? 

If you are a bona fide CEO or senior executive, I would be happy to help you build a coaching culture to deliver more ROI and more time. Click the button below to book a complimentary coaching call to work on this or any issue you may have.

Come discover the power of SOLIDleaders executive coaching.